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Kiefer and Prescod Finish in Top 16 in Rio

08/10/2016, 1:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Lee Kiefer at her second Olympic Games in Rio. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas

Nzingha Prescod (right) vs. Astrid Guyart (FRA) in the table of 16. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas

(Rio de Janeiro) – U.S. women’s foil fencers Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) advanced to the table of 16 on Wednesday, but ended the day in ninth and 10th place, respectively.

Kiefer opened with a table of 32 bout against Mona Shaito (LIB) – a former Youth Olympic Games Team member for the United States and NCAA All-American at Ohio State.

After dropping one touch early in the bout, Kiefer ripped through eight straight to take a 10-1 lead at the break before finishing at 15-3.

Ranked No. 3 in the world, Kiefer found herself down early in the table of 16 against Yongshi Liu (CHN), but kept her opponent within two touches at 6-4 before dropping the bout, 15-9.

“She fenced really well. I kept doing long actions and she would close me out and it was confusing me. I don’t feel like I was fencing my best, but I definitely give her credit,” Kiefer said.

The loss comes at the conclusion of a season in which Kiefer stood on four international podiums – a record for any U.S. women’s foil fencer.

“You work four years to get here and you just want this to be your best tournament, so obviously I’m disappointed. I felt so strongly that I could do it and then I just mentally didn’t have that clearness and focus. I just kept rushing and I just wasn’t in control,” said Kiefer who will return to Notre Dame this fall where she will attempt to win her fourth straight NCAA title. “It’s just frustrating because I’m fencing one more year and I really just wanted to get a medal at these Games. I know it’s just the whole process and everything, but I think I’ve come so far in four years and then it’s just frustrating to not compete your best.”

Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the reigning Senior World bronze medalist, fenced Nataly Michel (MEX) in her first direct elimination bout. After a slow start where her opponent scored two touches in the first 90 seconds, Prescod went on to build a 7-4 lead at the break and win the bout, 15-9.

In the table of 16, Prescod took a 7-3 lead early in her bout against five-time Senior World Team medalist Astrid Guyart (FRA), but Guyart tied the bout at eight late in the second period. Guyart controlled the second period where she outscored Prescod, 7-3, for a 15-11 win.

“I had a really good draw,” a resigned Prescod said after the bout. “It’s not like I feel uncomfortable fencing her … but it didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to.”

After two Olympic Games, Prescod hinted at retirement.

“I don’t know if I’m going to keep fencing, so this was potentially my last competition,” she said.

Tag(s): News